Q’um Q’um Xiiem
Greetings. It is an Indigenous cultural practice to start all visits with an acknowledgment of the peoples of the territory being visited. I do that now by acknowledging and thanking the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Peoples, upon whose traditional and unceded lands, I have worked for many years.
My Indigenous name, Q’um Q’um Xiiem, (Strong Clear Water) was given to me by Elder Shane Pointe of Musqueam. I grew up in Stó:lō territory, at Soowahlie First Nation near Cultus Lake, BC, and was fortunate to learn about Stó:lō culture and ways of knowing from Elders and community members. Stó:lō means River so our identity as Indigenous people is deeply connected to the water systems and their resources. I also have St’at’imc ancestry from X’xalip First Nation at Lillooet, BC.
My career as an educator has spanned a 45-year period, from 1972-2017, first as an elementary school teacher, then school district Indian Education Coordinator, and finally university professor. In these roles, teaching and using Indigenous knowledge, especially Indigenous stories, have held a core place in my educational practice. Working with learners of all ages from early childhood to graduate studies has been most rewarding for me (link to cv).
In various educational systems, I often found that Indigenous perspectives about Indigenous history, knowledge systems, cultures, and stories were either omitted, sorely lacking, or mis-represented. In response, I worked with many others at local, provincial, national, and now international sites to develop curricula (link to curricular egs), to prepare future teachers and educational leaders (link to NITEP and EDST), and to engage in ethical research with Indigenous Elders, storytellers, and educators about Indigenous traditional and life experience stories (link to Indigenous storywork book).